We arrived several hours later than anticipated due to 5 hr. delay from Vancouver. Upon arriving porters were excellent in getting luggage to our room. We had an ocean view superior suite with a pull out couch. 2 cold Presidentes (local beer) and some fresh fruit, chocolate were awaiting us. Mini-frig was well stocked with bottled water and soft drinks, as well as 2 full ice-cube trays. After putting clothes away and a quick wash we headed down to the lobby bar. It was fairly quiet so we were served promptly. Staff at the lobby bar were friendly enough. Headed down to "Coco's" the beach bar and had several more. Bartenders there were fantastic. Again it was fairly quiet, but we managed to liven things up a bit. Met lots of people from all over the world. Went back to the room about 3:00 A.M.
Up by 9:00 A.M and headed off to "Jimmy's Buffet". Breakfast choices were fantastic. Fresh made omelletes (you choose your ingredients and the chef mixes it up and cooks it) that were scrumptious. Lots of fresh fruit to choose from and yogurt (good for the tummy, maybe preventitive too). Coffee was the best. After breakfast headed back to the room to change into swimsuits and headed off to the beach. Red flag (caution swimming, no boogie boards). As I am not a big swimmer I was not too worried. Fun just to jump into the waves, wander along the beach, read a novel, and people watch. Beach staff very attentive in finding a lounge if you needed one. We never had a problem as there were plenty to be had. I did not bother doing the towel "chit" as I brought my own (bright colour and easy to spot, as I am blind without my glasses).
After a few hours of this I headed back to "Coco's" for a rum and coke. Dark rum only please! Also grabbed a few fries with hot sauce. Nummy. Back to beach. After a few more hours of this it was back to the room for a shower, head off to the lobby bar to meet friends, then to "Jimmy's" for dinner. The choices are many, but I did find that the meat dishes were overdone for my liking. Sensitive teeth, so some things were a bit tough for me, but flavour was good. They even had brussel sprouts one night for dinner and again another day for breakfast! Who would have thought? Love vegetables so it was all good for me.
More of the same most days although we did alternate (especially towards the end of our 2 week stay) between the beach and pool area. Beach was quieter, as you did not have the animation staff/music blaring, but the pool was fun to watch as per the above. Lots to do pool side if you are interested in participating in games/contests/lessons.
Ala carte restaurants were actually very good (never dined at any of them on our previous stay there). Mexican was good, Paris was chilly, but food great(air-conditioning-wear a wrap of some sort, Chicken Camembeart sauce-divine, but chicken a little tough), Beef medallions (again a little over done for my liking. I like steak rare.). Japanese-good, but too much too drink to give an informed opinion!
Diversions at the hotel-Lots-ice skating (some fellows tried to get a game going, ditched the skates but had a great time anyway). Rock-climbing-never tried it-too busy soaking up the sun!
Trapeze- Can not believe I did that! Great fun, personal best! Great staff to assist you!
Beach-Thought it was terrific-Probably not the best if you are really into "swimming". Red flags most of the time. But fun for just cooling off in and on the good days great boogie boarding. Pool is fantastic. Lots of pool activities-basketball, polo etc. if you are into it. Me, I just love the sun!
Theatre/ Animation team-Nightly shows were pretty good. Ones with audience participation were often hilarious. They did one at the Beach one night and that was extremely funny, but not for the very young or naive! They did an "African" show one night that was spectacular. Wish I had taken a video camera along for that. Animation team overall are pretty entertaining and a dedicated bunch. Disco was always interesting. Often wedding groups would be in there celebrating. Always fun to watch and I liked the music (I am not dead yet). Watching or participating in dancing is always a good time. Some of those moves!
Make sure you take the free shuttle into Cabarete/Sousa. Only went to Sousa on our 1st trip. This time we also went to Cabarete, which I really loved-quieter than Sousa, beach is amazing. Lots of great little bars. Souveneirs are the same as Sousa. Food was also great in Cabarete (little german restaurant), price reasonable. Sousa, make sure you stop at Checkpoint (little bar/kiosk where the shuttle drops you off). Owners Marc and Colleen are from Canada and they are very friendly and helpful. Colleen also makes an awesome lunch. Sometimes turkey sandwich (think Christmas leftovers) and a great Meatball sub.
There is a small gym at the hotel (which I vowed I would use-but didn't) others said it was adequate. I would rather walk the beach. Maybe next time I will try it. Heard the massage at the spa was to die for (about $30-40 US), hair salon-some raved about it, but we had a great deal done in Sousa for our daughter with "Natasha"-she is usually right alongside the Checkpoint bar and has a salon about a block away-$30.00 US for extensions and braiding. Beautiful job and it would cost about $200.00 here in Canada. Nice lady. Just be firm with the price, they will always ask for more. We did leave a very good tip though.
Hotel room- Ocean view, balcony, 3rd floor. Room was fairly simple, but everything worked. Did not have a remote for the TV (but stole one from our daughters room-it worked), we did not watch much TV anyway. One day there were some very, very, very small little ants in the bathroom, probably because we left the windows open (did not use the air-conditioning). Maid service was excellent. Coffee maker worked fine-pre-packaged coffee provided. Yummy. Daughter occasionnaly slept in the hide-a-bed. It was OK, but not great.
Main thing is no cooking, no cleaning, no phone, no work. All good.
Make sure you get out of the resort and see some of the countryside. Book tours outside the hotel (Mel Tours, Isaira Tours etc.) Have a geat time, enjoy your holiday. Will I be back? Next year absoulutely. There will be several friends with us on the next trip. They have seen and heard enough and are looking forward to being there along with us!